The Parthenon

Editorial: Still fanning the flames of Sept. 11, 2001

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For most of us, Monday was not ‘just another Monday’ to get over with.

Instead, it was a time to remember one of the events that have defined our country: the 9/11 attacks that took place 16 years ago.

According to Pew Research Center findings released Monday morning, the attacks remain relative to many citizens’ lives today, as nearly one out of every five Americans cite the nation’s response to the attacks as the moment during their lifetimes where they felt most proud of their country.

This ranking of pride surpassed other national events, such as the election of our first African American president and our first moon landing, which came in second and third place in the survey.

Despite this moment of unity the attacks culminated throughout our national community, it is also important to note the divisiveness that arose from it soon after.

The threat of terrorism gained a new status and later became the impetus of many government initiatives, including an entire war in the Middle East against extremist Islamic militant groups.

However, fear of terrorism also began its own unique war on the home front against over two million Americans whose peaceful faith extremists groups claimed to share.

Muslim citizens across the country faced discrimination and hate crimes due to the increasingly anti-Islamic rhetoric that the government, the media and citizens continued to spread.

While the Iraq War was brought to an official end in Dec. 2011, the battle still rages on against Muslims and their families here, with incidents such as the recent Manchester Arena bombing fanning familiar flames of hatred that began in Sept. 2001.

This hatred has led to nothing but the shedding of more innocent blood.

With each shooting, each vandalized mosque and each taunt toward a woman for wearing her hijab, our country grows less united.

It happens closer to home than you think. Just last year, a high school teacher from Huntington High School was suspended for anti-Muslim rants she posted online.

This happens despite the fact that Muslims want the same exact thing that we do: for terrorist acts done in the name of Islam to stop.

The Pew Research Center found last year that nearly 82 percent of Muslims in the United States are either very or somewhat concerned about extremism committed in the name of Islam around the world.

It’s time that we stop waging a societal war against our Muslim neighbors and start coming together with them to bring a stop to the true enemy: hatred.

If all of us can band together as we once did exactly 16 years ago, we might just be able to achieve a new moment in history where we are all even prouder to be American than we were then.

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